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Big Barrel Double IPA - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Barrel Double IPABig Barrel Double IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

207 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 207
Reviews: 91
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.61%
Wants: 47
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: LongBeachHopHead on 11-15-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 207 | Reviews: 91 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Nelson Sauvin hop was really interesting in the Mikkeller single hop, and it is masterfully used here. First comes the "white wine" taste (and the aromas are lovely grapes) and a good one at that, then in the finish, other hops put the beer into 90 IBU territory, so hops in your face. Nebver harsh, this was an absolute delight and worth seeking out. Above average mouthfeel, a great smooth drinker.
Kudos to my southern neighbour that sent this one.

Sammy, Apr 03, 2011
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

t0rin0, Oct 17, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle pour for the 4th Annual LA Beer Week Beer Festival at Union Station in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a slightly hazy honey orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, and citrus zest. Taste is much the same with a sweet honey flavor on the finish. There is a medium hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

UCLABrewN84, Oct 03, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to overlord for the bottle. Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip. Color is a moderate amber with a bit of an orangish tint. Two-finger white head falls somewhat quickly with an average amount of lacing getting left behind. Nose is very nice with a pretty hefty dose of both tropical and citrus fruits. The taste scales back and doesn't hit as hard as the nose, but there's still a bit there and a nice bitterness. Small malt presence. Drinks quite well and I was glad to be able to try this. Thanks again, Mike.

Thorpe429, Nov 12, 2010
Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Texasfan549, Jul 24, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a three finger head that leaves all matter of lace around the pint

Smell: Those Nelson Sauvin hops really have a unique aroma - a combination of citrus and sauvignon blanc grape

Taste: Opens with a nod to the biscuit and then off we go on a bitter hop trip, with citrus pith, pineapple and mango; after the swallow, the sauvignon blanc grape character adds a vinous and vegetal complexity

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Even as the beer approaches the six month mark, there are plenty of hops to make this a delightful quaff; kudos to Karl Strauss for this one

brentk56, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glowing bonfire orange with bright butterscotch borders. The pour produced three fingers of foam that is best described as lemon-accented ivory. The milkshake creamy, bubblicious texture of the foam is fantastic, as are thick sheets of cheese grater-like lace.

The nose is an intriguing combination of tropical fruit juice, ganja-like dankness and cheesy funkiness. Yes, it smells much better than it sounds. The responsible parties include Nelson Sauvin, Warrior and Ahtanum... to the tune of a mighty 90 IBUs.

Big Barrel Double IPA does not enter the upper echelon of San Diego DIPAs (or San Diego-style pale ales, or whatever name is preferred), but that's only because the competition is so stiff. This is still well-brewed beer that is growing on me with each rapidly passing ounce.

The malt bill includes England's own Maris Otter with a touch of caramel, and that's exactly how it tastes. There's just enough mid-range malt to give the beer a lightly toasted quality that adds character. Hop flavor is pretty much the same as hop aroma. My bottle is still a fresh bottle, so alpha acids are at full boil (without being punishing).

White grapefruit is dominant. There's also an herbal pepperiness that is keeping my taste buds fully engaged. The white grape-like quality of Nelson Sauvin barely survives intact. Forget the final sentence of the previous paragraph. The bitterness is cumulative and is beginning to work its buzzsaw-like magic. Hopheads only need apply. At least when the beer is this fresh.

The body/mouthfeel score is a tweener. Although it's a little light for the style, it's coming into its own now that the bottom of the bomber as been breached. In the end, it doesn't quite have the chops to get the bigger score.

Karl Strauss Breweries may not be able to compete with the AleSmiths, Stones, Alpines and Ballast Points of the world, but the opening salvo in the Coastal Reserve series is a hoppy humdinger. Thanks to Joey for the recommendation.

BuckeyeNation, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -1.5%

kjkinsey, Jul 23, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So A growler of this one shows up on my porch last week and I could not have been happier. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 05/15/2010.

Nice pour, rich amber in color with a nice level of carbonation that could be seen streaming up toward the top of the glass. A smallish head of maybe an inch or so capped the top of the glass and settled down slowly with a light lacing all down the sides.

Deep citrus aroma, pineapple, mango, grapefruit are all represented quite well. Warming brings out some nice mellow and well balanced malt notes sprinkled in throughout now as well. Really again very nicely done. Crisp and biting hops are right up front, piercing the palate with tons of clean and bitter fruit notes. Each sips seems to get better and better as the medium feel really lets the flavor coat the palate and soak in. Final sips are long and drawn out and full of citrus spikes.

Overall this is one of the better doubles out there. You really should give this one a try if you can.

mikesgroove, May 19, 2010
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

ygtbsm94, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of womencantsail
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a nice looking golden color with a bit of orange to it and a finger's worth of white head.

S: Quite a bit of sweet caramel maltiness with some slightly grassy and citrusy hops. A little maltier/sweeter than I like, but not too bad.

T: The hops have really died out from the flavor. A bit of grass and citrus with only a mild pine on the finish. Quite sweet and malty, lots of caramel.

M: The body is nice and a bit on the full side for an IPA. Moderately carbonated.

D: As I noted in the aroma, this is a bit on the sweet side for my tastes. Still not bad, but I would prefer a bigger, more pungent hop character.

womencantsail, Jun 10, 2010
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -1.5%

westcoastbeerlvr, May 31, 2013
Photo of largadeer
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

largadeer, Jun 03, 2013
Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

SocalKicks, Sep 15, 2012
Photo of Jason
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber.

Chunky sea foam head, excellent retention ... Sticks all over the glass. Hazed amber orange color. Big aroma of spearmint, grapefruit, lime zest, and wild flowers from the hops ... Hint of bready caramel malt and esters in the back. Smooth bitty medium body. Hops are here to play, to take over, to show their strength and they do. Alcohol settles in quick, warming and a hint of fruity esters. Bready and yeasty edge within. Hoppy after taste with a fume of alcohol.

This beer has a full on grasp of the style, a great beer all around.

Jason, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear hue deep copper with a big off white cream colored head chunky textured billows above the rim of my nonic imperial pint glass. Fine speckled lacing around the sides of the glass. Aroma hints of juicy ripened fruit with citrus/herbal hops in the backend. A bit of maltiness and diacetyl popcorn butter tones. Just a hint of that ,with caramel malt tones earthiness balances as well. Flavor this one is in the mix between a light barleywine and a heavy DIPA it has alot of juicy malt caramelized sugars flowing back and forth. Sugary malt layers is really off putting with a bit of hot alcohol tones this is not refined nice and easy going big West Coast hoppy ales this is a diefferent direction. Mouthfeel is a bit cloying resinous but heavy on the palate residual sugars eliminate the clean drinking experience carbonation does live up to the bigger body. Drinkability has to get better for this style, no more heavy set women taking up arms unless you know somebody is getting to you, and want if you want me to get involved again, then maybe someday we will get a more refined version of what we're looking for.

WVbeergeek, Oct 23, 2010
Photo of Kegatron
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Toronado (San Diego, CA) on 11/10/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, topped with a thin layer of brite-white creamy foam. This stays VERY rich when swirled, leaving a nice frothy cascade of lacing back, which quickly slides down the sides of the glass. The aroma here is totally West Coast smelling, with just at TON of floral hops, spice, and pine cones. This mixes in beautifully, with a thick underlying layer of grapefruit juice and bready caramel, which is still able to boldly show itself under all of that crazy hop activity. This just has a fresh and fierce pop to it, that I'm really digging.

The taste pretty much matches the aroma, with a strong and assertive hop presence, including monstrous notes of resins and spice, barely being balanced by a softer feeling backbone of sweet toasted caramel malts and tropical fruit character. Man, this is all about the hops though, with a bitter finish of peppery spice, resinous pine, and citrus rind, that just STICKS in the mouth. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe even a bit fuller, with a big prickly creaminess to it that goes well with the huge hop profile. This is actually going down pretty readily considering the big bitterness and alcohol content here.

This was one of the big surprise beers from our recent San Diego trip, that was one of the more complete West Coast IPAs that we've had from there lately. Just big juicy hop flavors here, with just enough of a sweet backbone to keep this balanced and drinkable. It's great to see bold new beers like this coming out from Karl Strauss.

Kegatron, Dec 03, 2009
Photo of Slatetank
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks a lot to Tim for sharing this and Dr. B for bringing it back from
San Diego - cheers.

Enjoyed chilled in a snifter.

The color is rosy amber with good clarity and golden hues with thick white head. The smell is floral with pleasant hop aroma -nice hint of light citrus and subtle sweet malt with mild caramel nose. The feel is balanced with malt and light spice with moderate sweet elements and mild alcohol w/ semi-dry finish.

The taste has mild citrus flavor with light vegetal elements and subtle tinge of malt in the middle with a gentle spice and grapefruit note from the hops with caramel malt providing a nice backbone to the bitterness the hops provide. Overall I think this is a decent if not above average example of the style, not aggressively hopped to the extreme as others but a very nice flavor and balance and one I could drink frequently -not a bad beer in any sense.

Slatetank, Sep 24, 2012
Photo of russpowell
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from Bitterbill, cheers Bill! Review based on notes

Pours an effervescent honey/apricot with 2+ fingers of tan head. Very good lacing & head retention

S: Piney & citrus hops in copious quantities

T: Breadyness then grapefruit & pine up front, along with a bit of booze. Pineapple & cakeyness surface as this warms along with a slight smack of pine & grapefruit as this warms, along with toffee. Finishes cakey with leafy & grapefruitty hops

MF: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation & fair balance

Drinks pretty easy for the ABV & style, another stellar DIPA from Cali & a damn good showing from this brewery...

russpowell, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of MasterSki
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Hophead84 for sending a bottle of this my way. There's no date on the bottle, but I'm guessing it's from November based on the other reviews. Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip glass.

A - This is pretty much the perfect DIPA pour. Three fingers of soapy white foam that dissipates slowly and leaves glass-coating lace and a thick cap. Slightly hazed golden-copper body with a fiery glow and a stream of bubbles rising up the middle of the glass. This is reference quality for DIPA appearance.

S - The hop character has obviously faded since this was fresh, but there's still a nice amount of tropical fruit and grape hop character. There's not a ton of citrus or pine, but that's not surprising with a hop bill heavy in Nelson Sauvin, Warrior and Ahtanum. At this stage the malt backbone has moved to the forefront, with spicy caramel and rum-soaked cake flavors. I wish I got to try this fresh, but as it stands its still pretty interesting.

T - Again, the caramel malt is starting to take over, but there's some fierce bitterness mixed in. Reminds me a little of fruit punch actually, with the mix of grape, tropical fruit, and sugary malt backbone. The taste has aged better than the smell, although it's approaching a heavily hopped barleywine. Alcohol is extremely well-hidden, and the finish and aftertaste are filled with strong residual bitterness. Probably more of a 4.25, so I'll be generous in other areas.

M - Great enamel-melting sensations. Very soft, creamy texture, with only a bit of mild carbonation tingle. Medium body that's appropriate for the ABV. Not much heat at all. Pretty much what I want from a DIPA.

D - A pleasant surprise form a somewhat under-the-radar beer. I had no problem downing the bomber on my own. I hope I get to try this one again when the make a fresh batch. Best Karl Strauss beer I've tried so far.

MasterSki, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of jlindros
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this interesting looking guy thanks to imperialbeachbrw.

A: Fluffy white 1 finger head fades slowly over a mostly clear dark amber orange color with a touch of haze.

N: Lots of chewy hops, some fresh musty citrus, little wet hop resin, touch of pine, some malts, sweet malts, with a bit of aged hops gives it that slight nougat aroma, a touch of barrel aroma. I'm really enjoying this nose.

T: Pretty bitter with some chewy hops, dry taste and mouth, touch of tingly booze. Some heavy sweet malts. A little fresh hop resin, touch of citrus, but overall mostly just bittering hops that give quite a bit of bitterness.

M: Medium body with decent carbonation.

F: Mostly dry mouth that accentuates the heavy bitterness that hits. My mouth is bombareded with hops and bitterness. A little tingly booze and lingering malty sweetness (just the taste of it not the actual sweetness). A little hop resin also lingers. A bit more hop character rather than just bitterness would have bumped this one up a bit. Also drinks really well for 90 IBUs and 9% abv.

jlindros, May 21, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Beer is reddish and slightly hazy. Forms a thin white head of small bubbles. Head falls away and break into a diffuse thin layer. Head leaves a lot of lacing behind. Looks good.

Aroma is really weak and disappointing. Its a snifter, it should help the aroma. There is some hops and a little malt.

Beer is medium bodied and has a really odd almost cannabis flavor to it. Its the hops I'm sure but its really pot like. There isn't a lot of sweetness and its surprisingly drinkable. Not my favorite (I don't like the flavor of cannabis) but its pretty good. There are some good citrus flavors.

drabmuh, Feb 03, 2010
Photo of mactrail
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Attractive sudsy pour in the tall Saxo tulip. Aromas of flowers and overripe fruit.

Quite sweet, but a malty rather than a sugary sweetness. It goes well with the huge fruit flavors. Mango, apricot nectar. Rather tart after some sipping. A textbook example of the Nelson Sauvin flavor, but more bittering hops lurk in the background. However, the bitterness is way less than most big hop beers. It allows the spice and alcohol to give it a livelier taste.

One of the more drinkable DIPAs for my taste. Cheerful and fruity. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Ibis Market in San Diego.

mactrail, Mar 11, 2013
Photo of Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bman1113vr for sharing this bottle. This is beer number 2500 for me.

The beer pours a golden-yellow color with a white head. The aroma is very fruity. I get a lot of grapefruit, pineapple and papaya notes. The tropical fruit notes in the beer really stand out, with very little else coming through.

The flavor is more of the same. I get a little biscuit malt, but I also get a ton of pineapple and papaya. The beer is full of hop flavor but the bitterness is fairly low. Overall, the beer is very drinkable,

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of Halcyondays
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber, picked up at Mr. Kegs for $5,

A: Pours amber with an long lasting thick white head, full of lacing.

S: Standard DIPA - bitter melon, cantaloupe, white grapefruit. Mango and banana are secondary, but come out a lot more when the beer warms.

T: Sweet candy malt/toffee initially with a lot of orange action. More bitter pine and citrus flavours come in on the back end with mango (which I remember as a distinct note in the Nelson Sauvin Mikkeller IPA). At 6 months or so, we're starting to get a barleywine.

M: Resiny, sticky, chewy, long and full aftertaste. Soft carbonation which I liked.

D: A sipper and an interesting one at that. A unique DIPA, I wish I could have tried it on release, but I can't go back in time.

Halcyondays, Apr 10, 2010
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Big Barrel Double IPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 207 ratings.